This past Sunday as my first shoot day for the Indie FEATURE film "God's Land."
Unfortunately, it was a raining day on God's Land. But the production did not want to further delay the filming schedule - we decided to press on.
(The Guy in the blue shirt, with the cap, is Preston Miller, the Director of the film)
My involvement with the scene today, was a big press conference, where I had three pages full of intense and technical 'broken English' dialogues. My character's name is "Richard Liu" and he's considered the "Speaker" of a religious cult.
Teacher Chen, the older gentleman in the crowd, is considered the "Brain" of the cult. He is protrayed by Jackson Ng.
In the photo below, we were doing a rehearsal...
The scene went by fast. Since I got the lines memorized 98%, I didn't need to cheat to my cheat sheet at all.
Then we break for lunch.... We had Hamburger and Hot Dogs.
We were super hungry!! I had 3 hot dogs and 1 hamburger!!
(Our Lead Actors, Shing and Jodi)
The children spent their downtime watching DVD in the waiting area:
(John taking a Nap)
(Amy getting a bottle of water)
Everything was so great, until... I found out that I had an older version of the script, where there were more scenes and dialogues been added to the newer version.
So after lunch, I was told they were ready to do more 'press conference.'
I was like..."What? Huh?!"
I looked at the shoot schedule, looked up the scene number on my script... Then compared it to Preston's script...
I freaked out.
I called Preston and let him know that of all the scenes written to be shot today, I wasn't suppose to have any dialogues. It turned out, there are at least 12 pages more 'press interviews.'
We are rushing against day light.
We didn't have time.
The Kids wanted to go home.
Everyone worked so hard.
Everyone was wet.
And all these are suppose to be matching shot with the big press conference scene. There's really NO WAY we can shoot these scenes on the other day.
So I told Preston that I will need at least 2 minutes to go through all the lines before we shoot each scene. I also asked him if he can work it out with the DP to focus on my face at every first & second lines of interview, then pan the camera to either Teacher Chen, or other members of the Cult. I will continue to COLD READ the script off camera as if the viewer are watching a Discovery Channel show.
I was really mad at myself though. I should have been more familiar with all my lines in the script before coming to set. (I printed out the scenes based on the schedule, and memorized the lines needed for that day) Because the remaining interviews were SO FUNNY. OH MY GOSH, the LINES were SO GOOD, that I was SO Pissed that I had to read it off a script, instead of really perform them according to the context!!! Arrrggggggghhhhhhhhh....
But seriously, I really have to give credits to all these Workshops that horned my cold reading skills. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to put on any types of 'performance.'
Now I just have to pray from some Post Production Magic to make those scene look... Fabulous.
Here is picture of the actual Teacher Chen and Richard Liu:
And is Jackson and I: